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Starr 040331-0060 Reynoldsia sandwicensis.jpg
Polyscias sandwicensis (= Reynoldsia sandwicensis)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Genus: Reynoldsia
Subgenus: Polyscias subgenus Tetraplasandra
Type species
Reynoldsia sandwicensis (now Polyscias sandwicensis)
Asa Gray for Reynoldsia sandwicensis

see text

Reynoldsia is an obsolete genus of flowering plants in the ivy family, Araliaceae. In 2003, Kew Gardens published a checklist for Araliaceae, in which eight species were recognized for Reynoldsia: four from Samoa, two from Tahiti, one from the Marquesas, and one from Hawaii.[1] In 2010, a phylogenetic comparison of DNA data showed that Reynoldsia was polyphyletic, consisting of two groups that are not each other's closest relatives.[2] In a companion paper, three of the species were "sunk" into synonymy with others, reducing the number of species to five.[3] All species that were formerly in Reynoldsia are now in ''Polyscias'' subgenus Tetraplasandra, a subgenus of 21 species indigenous to Malesia and Pacific islands.[3]

Reynoldsia was a genus of shrubs to medium-sized trees, mostly of dry habitats, especially the leeward sides of tropical pacific islands. The leaves are imparipinnate, and alternate. The leaf margin is never completely entire, but varies from obscurely to patently dentate.

es:William R. Philipson considered Reynoldsia to be hard to distinguish from Tetraplasandra, another defunct genus to which it was closely related.[4] In general, Reynoldsia can be recognized by its toothed leaflets, greater number of ovary cells, and smaller number of stamens.[5]

Polyscias sandwicensis (formerly Reynoldsia sandwicensis) is cultivated, albeit rarely, in Hawaii.[6] Instructions for its cultivation are available.[7]


Eight species were listed by Frodin and Govaerts (2003) for Reynoldsia.[1] Lowry and Plunkett (2010) recognized only five of these, and placed them in Polyscias subgenus Tetraplasandra.[3] The synonyms given below are the species recognized by Frodin and Govaerts (2003).


The genus Reynoldsia was erected in 1854 by Asa Gray[8] in his account of the botany of the United States Exploring Expedition (1838-1842).[9] The genus was named for Jeremiah N. Reynolds, a plant collector in Chile in the early 19th century.[10] Gray named two species: Reynoldsia pleiosperma from Samoa and Reynoldsia sandwicensis from Hawaii. John Hutchinson designated the latter as the type species for Reynoldsia in 1967.[11][3] This is not recorded in Index Nominum Genericorum, where such information is usually found.[12]

Berthold Carl Seemann named a Tahitian species, Reynoldsia verrucosa, in 1864.[13] In 1873, fr:Jean Nadeaud named another Tahitian species, Reynoldsia tahitensis. [14] Many authors, such as Forest B. H. Brown, did not accept R. tahitensis as a separate species from R. verrucosa.

In 1925, Bénédict P.G. Hochreutiner named a second species from Samoa, Reynoldsia lanutoensis.[15] In 1935, a third species from Samoa, Reynoldsia grayana was named by Erling Christophersen.[16] Christophersen suggested that some plants from a place called Tau might be a fourth species of Reynoldsia in Samoa. Also in 1935, Reynoldsia marchionensis, a species from the Marquesas, was named by Forest B.H. Brown.[17] The rare Samoan endemic, Reynoldsia tauensis, was finally published as a separate species in 1968 by Albert C. Smith and Benjamin Clemens Stone.[18]

Some sources state that there are two species of Reynoldsia in the Society Islands, and this error has been copied from one source to another.[19] An examination of the references cited here shows that R. marchionensis is the only species name in Reynoldsia that was ever published for a plant from the Society Islands.

Earl Edward Sherff believed that there were eight species of Reynoldsia in Hawaii.[20] In 1952, he published names for these, as well as descriptions and an identification key. Subsequent authors have regarded these names as merely regional variants or forms of Reynoldsia sandwicensis.

In 2003, a checklist and nomenclator was published for Araliaceae.[1] Eight species were recognized therein. The authors stated that Reynoldsia is "seen as biphyletic". The biphyly of Reynoldsia was confirmed in 2007, in a molecular phylogenetic study of what is now called ''Polyscias'' subgenus Tetraplasandra.[21] It was confirmed again, in 2010, in a study of DNA sequences of selected genes in the pinnate genera of Araliaceae.[2]

In an accompanying paper in Plant Diversity and Evolution, all of the pinnate Araliaceae were placed in the large genus Polyscias, thus raising the number of species in that genus from about 100 to 159, not counting about 90 species that will be published in forthcoming papers.[3] Six of the genera that were recognized in the 2003 checklist (Arthrophyllum, Cuphocarpus, Gastonia, Reynoldsia, Munroidendron, and Tetraplasandra) were subsumed into Polyscias.

Polyscias was then divided into 11 subgenera (Polyscias, Grotefendia, Maralia, Arthrophyllum, Cuphocarpus, Tetraplasandra, Eupteron, Sciadopanax, Tieghemopanax, Indokingia, and Palmervandenbroekia) and 7 species (Polyscias acuminata, Polyscias macdowallii, Polyscias mollis, Polyscias murrayi, Polyscias ledermannii, Polyscias pentamera, and Polyscias purpurea) were placed in Polyscias incertae sedis (not in any subgroup thereof). All of the species of the former Reynoldsia are now in Polyscias subgenus Tetraplasandra.

This subgenus consists of the four south Pacific species that were in Reynoldsia, four of the six species that Philipson had placed in Polyscias section Eupteron,[22] the two Malesian species that had been in Gastonia,[23] and a Hawaiian clade of 11 species.[3][21] The Hawaiian clade consists of the sister species Polyscias sandwicensis (formerly Reynoldsia sandwicensis) and Polyscias racemosa (formerly Munroidendron racemosum), as well as a monophyletic group of nine species that had been in Tetraplasandra as defined by Philipson in 1970.[4]

When Polyscias was recircumscribed in 2010, the authors did not recognize all of the eight species that had been recognized in 2003. They placed R. grayana and R. tauensis into synonymy under R. lanutoensis. They likewise subsumed R. tahitiensis into R. verrucosa. The resulting five species were transferred to Polyscias as P. lanutoensis, P. pleiosperma, P. marchionensis, P. verrucosa, and P. sandwicensis.[3]


  1. ^ a b c David G. Frodin and Rafaël Govaerts. 2003. World Checklist and Bibliography of Araliaceae. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 978-1-84246-048-1. (See External links below).
  2. ^ a b Gregory M. Plunkett and Porter P. Lowry II. 2010. "Paraphyly and polyphyly in Polyscias sensu lato: molecular evidence and the case for recircumscribing the "pinnate genera" of Araliaceae". Plant Diversity and Evolution (formerly Botanische Jahrbucher) 128(1-2):23-54. doi:10.1127/1869-6155/2010/0128-0002.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Porter P. Lowry II and Gregory M. Plunkett. 2010. "Recircumscription of Polyscias (Araliaceae) to include six related genera, with a new infrageneric classification and a synopsis of species". Plant Diversity and Evolution (formerly Botanische Jahrbucher) 128(1-2):55-84. doi:10.1127/1869-6155/2010/0128-0003. (See External links below).
  4. ^ a b William R. Philipson. 1970. "A redefinition of Gastonia and related genera (Araliaceae)". Blumea 18(2):497-505.
  5. ^ Porter P. Lowry II. 1990. "Araliaceae", pages 224-237. In: Warren L. Wagner, Derral R. Herbst, and Sy H. Sohmer. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, Revised Edition, 1999. Bishop Museum Press: Hololulu
  6. ^ John L. Culliney and Bruce P. Koebele. 1999. A Native Hawaiian Garden. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2176-0.
  7. ^ Kerin E. Lilleeng-Rosenberger. 2005. Growing Hawaiʻi's Native Plants. Mutual Publishing. ISBN 978-1-56647-716-1
  8. ^ Reynoldsia in International Plant Names Index. (see External links below).
  9. ^ Asa Gray. 1854. Series: United States Exploring Expedition (1838-1842); Volume 15: Botany. Phanerogamia.:723. (See External links below).
  10. ^ Umberto Quattrocchi. 2000. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names volume IV. CRC Press: Boca Raton; New York; Washington,DC;, USA. London, UK. ISBN 978-0-8493-2673-8 (set). (see External links below).
  11. ^ John Hutchinson. 1967. The Genera of Flowering Plants 2:58. ISBN 978-3-87429-187-3
  12. ^ Reynoldsia In: Index Nominum Genericorum. In: Regnum Vegetabile (see External links below).
  13. ^ Berthold Carl Seemann. 1864. page 245. In: "Revision of the natural order Hederaceae" pages 235-309. Journal of Botany, British and Foreign volume 2 (1864). (See External links below).
  14. ^ Jean Nadeaud. 1873. Énumeration des Plantes Indigènes de l'Île de Tahiti recueillies et classées / par J. Nadeaud. Paris:63. F. Savy. (See External links below).
  15. ^ Bénédict P.G. Hochreutiner. 1925. Candollea2():482.
  16. ^ Erling Christophersen. 1935. "Flowering Plants of Samoa". Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin no. 128:161.
  17. ^ Forest B.H. Brown. 1935. "Flora of Southeastern Polynesia. III. Dicotyledons". Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin no. 130:209.
  18. ^ Albert C. Smith and Benjamin C. Stone. 1968. page 465. In: "Studies of Pacific Island Plants, XIX. The Araliaceae of the New Hebrides, Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga". Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 49(4):431-501. (See External links below).
  19. ^ David J. Mabberley. 2008. Mabberley's Plant-Book third edition (2008). Cambridge University Press: UK. ISBN 978-0-521-82071-4. (See External links below).
  20. ^ Earl Edward Sherff. 1952. "Further studies of Hawaiian Araliaceae: Additions to Cheirodendron helleri Sherff and a preliminary treatment of the endemic species of Reynoldsia A. Gray". Botanical Leaflets 6(section II):6-19.
  21. ^ a b Annemarie Costello and Timothy J. Motley. 2007. "Phylogenetics of the Tetraplasandra Group (Araliaceae) Inferred from ITS, 5S-NTS, and Morphology". Systematic Botany 32(2):464-477.
  22. ^ William R. Philipson. 1979. "Araliaceae" In: Flora Malesiana, series 1, volume 9, part 1: 1-105. ISBN 978-90-286-0629-6 (part 1). (See External links below).
  23. ^ William R. Philipson. 1970. "The Malesian species of Gastonia (Araliaceae)". Blumea 18(2):491-495.


Gregory M. Plunkett, Jun Wen, Porter P. Lowry II, Murray J. Henwood, Pedro Fiaschi, and Anthony D. Mitchell. accepted, undated. Araliaceae, pages ??. In: Klaus Kubitzki (editor); ?? (volume editor). The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants volume ??. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg, Germany. ISBN ??

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